BBA predicts bizav upturn

 - May 15, 2008, 5:51 AM

The BBA Group, which includes the Signature Flight Support chain and Dallas Airmotive, believes that business aviation has bounced back from the post-September 11 downturn and predicts this recovery will shore up its profits this year. On March 12 the UK-based company announced pre-tax profits for 2001 of £124.2 million ($176 million), down 18 percent from the previous year.

In a statement to financial analysts, BBA chief executive Roy McGlone said “business aviation is growing because of safety issues and time-saving.”

However, the group acknowledged that, due to the immediate aftermath of September 11, traffic using its FBO network on both sides of the Atlantic fell 5 percent last year, while its airline handling business suffered a 15-percent decline in revenues. The enforced six-day closure of the Signature FBO network deprived the group of some £10 million ($1.4 million) in revenues. BBA also had to shoulder approximately £6 million ($8.5 million) in increased operating costs related to emergency insurance premiums and security cover.

According to the BBA statement, fractional-ownership traffic is now growing at around 20 percent and demand for executive charter flights is increasing by as much as 25 percent. Based largely on its handling agreement with Executive Jet’s NetJets fractional-ownership program, the Signature Flight Support chain is expected to benefit from the rising tide of traffic.